Locust Street Letters
By Frank Lawrence Vernon
Philadelphia: St. Mark's Church, Locust Street.
ST. MARK'S, PHILADELPHIA.
THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER, 1937. SAINT MARK'S DAY.
MY DEAR PEOPLE:
The Gospel for today records the promise of the coming of the Comforter. Our Lord prepared His disciples by the assurance that it would be expedient for them that He should go away to Him that sent Him. He explained that the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, would most surely come to them, but only after His departure. The disciples could not understand. They could only treasure these instructions in their memories.
He had spoken to them before about their difficulty in understanding. "But the Comforter," He said, "which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all thing to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." In today's Gospel He continues the instruction on remembering His words and waiting for the Holy Ghost to enable them to understand what they remembered, and all that the Holy Ghost would recall to their remembrance.
"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth." After Our Lord's resurrection, we read He continued His instructions. "He showed himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God."
Today while we are continuing the Festival of the Resurrection, our minds are being prepared for the anticipation of Our Lord's Ascension into heaven, and for the coming of the Holy Ghost. On the Sunday after Ascension Day, we shall be expecting the Festival of Pentecost. In the meantime, in the happy quietness of mid-Eastertide, we are being prepared for the great things that are to come. Each year we need to learn the simple lesson over again, the lesson of our dependance upon the guidance of the Spirit of truth to guide us into all truth.
The Holy Ghost brings all things to our remembrance. The Holy Ghost guides us into true understanding. Look back over the Christian Year. Remember what you have seen, keep every scene fresh in your memories. And see the unity of the drama of redemption re-presented by the Liturgical cycle of devotion. Try to see it as a whole. The Manger of Bethlehem. The Cross on Calvary. The empty Tomb in the Garden of the Resurrection. It is a fadeless memory.
Christmas may seem to the world to be a day of the past for this year. It can never be a thing of the past for us. Every day of the year, in the Eucharistic Mysteries, some one in this Church visits Bethlehem and kneels in devout remembrance of Bethlehem, at the words of the Creed, "Who for us men and for our salvation came down from Heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man."
Good Friday may seem to the world a day of the past for this year. It can never be that for us. Every day of the year, in the Eucharistic Mysteries, some one in this Church visits Calvary, and in the Creed makes devout remembrance, "And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried."
Every day in the Eucharistic Sacrifice the sacrifice of the Cross is re-presented on the Altar. "We earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly beseeching thee to grant that, by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in His blood, we, and all thy whole Church, may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of His passion."
Easter may have come and gone for the world. It can never be so for us. Every day some one in this Church remembers in the Eucharistic Mysteries, "And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures." In the Eucharistic Mysteries, humble servants of God celebrate and make, with the holy gifts which they offer, the memorial of the mighty resurrection.
So the Holy Ghost brings all things to our remembrance and guides us into all truth.
Affectionately in Our Lord,